Disabled Adults Get Job Opportunities

By: Elizabeth Donatelli
By: Elizabeth Donatelli

December 19, 2005

There are many programs for kids with disabilities, but fewer opportunities for adults in our community. One adult program in town helps enrich people's lives.

WorkSource Enterprises gives people with disabilities the chance to be independent and financially self-sufficient. This is something that makes many of their clients smile during the holiday season.

Hundreds of people filled the room at the WorkSource Holiday party to reflect on their career successes throughout the year. The non-profit gives jobs to people with disabilities .

"Roughly 75 percent of the 500 individuals that we work with work at local businesses including fast food restaurants, retailers, the hospitality industry," said Chuck McElory, president of WorkSource Enterprises.

Lori Robinson of Charlottesville for example stamps packages.

"I love this job because I like to work here," said Robinson.

Many do janitorial work for the federal government.

"They put together various products for companies in the county and in the state. Their source of work and living is generated here at WorkSource," said Robert Mentzinger of the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville.

These people gathered for a work party--but there's isn't any work happening here.

"At this party you get to act as crazy as you want to," said Charlottesville Resident Carol Hanson.

There was good food, a magician, and of course Santa Claus. But everyone has their own favorite part

"Down to the end of it, my favorite part is Santa Clause--to see him," said Robinson.

"Everybody's here. We came to party!" said Hanson.

The event was hosted by the Kiwanis Club--a community service organization that raised money to host the staff and clients.

The other organizations invited were Region Ten Community Services Board and ARC of the Piedmont.

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